Kanna holds a courtesy appointment at FEUP's Underwater Systems and Technology Laboratory. He holds an International Chair Professorship as an Adjunt at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Engineering Cybernetics department in Gløshaugen, Trondheim.
His career has spanned academia, private industry and the non-profit world all in the United States and mostly in California. His background is in Autonomous Systems, in particular in Automated Planning and Execution and agent architectures. His work lies at the insticies of AI, Robotics and Oceanography. He spent more than 10 years at NASA Ames Research Centerwhere his software flew on two space missions, the 1999 New Millennium Deep Space One Remote Agent Experiment (RAX) and the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers mission (MER) where he was the Principal Investigator (PI) of the MAPGEN command/control system of the two rovers Spirit and Opportunity on the surface of Mars. He has numerous awards from the US space agency, including a Software of the Year award and a Public Service Medal for the Remote Agent and an Exceptional Service Medal for MER.
Subsequently he moved to MBARI, a private non-profit ocean science and engineering institution on Monterey Bay while moving to work in the domain of Marine Robotics.
He continues to work closely with LSTS and NTNU, while living in California.